IN THE DAYS of the Cold War, the fortress on the island of Hemsö at the mouth of the Ångerman River was a state secret. Since its closure in the 1990s, it has become a museum and a popular destination. ‘Upmarket barracks’ was the phrase that informed Sweco Architecture’s design of a new restaurant building for the site, on behalf of the National Property Board of Sweden. Military barracks are not the first thing that springs to mind in describing the glazed façade with its angled frontage, but the architects were keen to play with the way military architecture often camouflages itself and disappears into the background. On the land side, the restaurant building is blasted into the bedrock.
The interior is dominated by the ash wood flooring and the vertical spruce cladding, which is brought to life with varying widths of boards. But the main attraction is still the view of the water through the huge expanses of glass. The structure is supported by glulam beams, which also hold up the complex, jackstraw-like roof structure with its large overhang.«